Educating leaders in the Caribbean

Posted on February 14, 2012 by Global Mission Support

The Rev. David and Mary Kuck are ELCA missionaries in Kingston, Jamaica, serving in theological education at the United Theological College of the West Indies. To support the Kucks, or another of the ELCA’s nearly 250 missionaries, go to

David Kuck meets with the current group of Doctor of Ministry students and their lecturer.

David Kuck meets with the current group of Doctor of Ministry students and their lecturer.

Dear friends:

Some of you have been supporting our work here in Jamaica for many years; others have signed on quite recently. We believe that all of you have made this commitment not only because you are generous supporters of our church’s mission around the world, but also because you appreciate the crucial importance of theological education to the life and health of the church.

We are the Lutheran presence on the faculty of the ecumenical seminary called the United Theological College of the West Indies. Through our teaching we help to form a committed and skilled cadre of pastors and leaders for churches throughout the Caribbean region. In an arc from Belize to Guyana our graduates serve in urban and rural, wealthy and impoverished, thriving and dying communities (this is not to mention the numerous UTCWI graduates who are serving in North America and the United Kingdom).  The people you meet in the hotels and resorts in the Caribbean are often active members of churches pastored by UTCWI graduates.

Our president, the Rev. Dr. Marjorie Lewis, came back from a recent visit to Haiti impressed by the way Methodist, Lutheran and Baptist UTCWI graduates have provided strength and leadership in the crisis of the earthquake in Port-au-Prince two years ago and its aftermath.

In recent years David has served as the coordinator of graduate studies at UTCWI, while Mary teaches research methods in the program. In collaboration with the University of the West Indies we offer Master of Arts and Master of Philosophy degrees and doctoral degrees in theology. We recently have added the Master of Divinity degree.  And in collaboration with Columbia Theological Seminary in Georgia we offer a Doctor of Ministry Degree. These graduate programs attract students not only from the mainline denominations but also from a wide variety of Evangelical and Pentecostal denominations as well. This gives us a wonderful challenge and opportunity to help raise up thoughtful leaders all across the Christian spectrum.

You are partners in this educational process. Your support of our work helps to assure that the Christians of the Caribbean region will continue to have the kind of leaders needed to guide the churches through economic and cultural turbulence. Many thanks to you all.

God’s Blessings,
Mary and David